15 Literary Quotes to Get You Through Your Final Year Of College, Because Those Motivational Posters In The Gym Aren't Cutting It

This is it: the home stretch. When first starting college, it’s surprisingly easy to pretend the end is never going to come. Or at least, you’re far too busy settling in to consider that eventually you'll have to move out for good. The final stretch of college is a time to half-reflect on what’s come before. I say half-reflect because there’s no use getting lost in reverie when there’s still so much to do.

Now the end really is nigh, the eternal importance of grades, keeping up with extracurriculars, and spending time with friends you might not see for years after graduation brings a strange mix of emotions. There’s also the panic that you haven’t done enough — and don’t get me started on finding a job. 

Even majoring in literature can leave little time to read for fun and spiritual nourishment, but when things get hectic, comforting words are vital — they can mean the difference between pushing through a few thousand more words and giving up and going home to eat frozen foods in your PJs. 

While you ride this emotional roller coaster for the last time, take a moment to be cheered by these literary quotes, which will support the final steps of your journey to cap and gown. Just... be safe when you get on that stage.


1. "The pressure of 'what are you going to do?' makes everyone feel like they haven't done anything yet." 

—Amy Poehler, Yes Please 

2. "To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference."

—Joan Didion, On Self-Respect 

3. "Suddenly it occurred to her. She could get off the bus at any time — anywhere she liked. She need not finish the journey. Or at least not her original, planned journey."

—Zöe Venditozzi, Anywhere’s Better Than Here 

4. "A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."

—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice 

5. "I kind of killed it in college. You know that saying, big fish in a small pond? At Dartmouth College, I was freakin' Jaws in a community swimming pool." 

—Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

6. "Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence."

—Eleanor Roosevelt, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt 

7. "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."


8. "I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils."

—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 

9. "You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

—A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh 

10. "Do your thing and don't care if they like it."

—Tina Fey, Bossypants 

11. "Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle."

—Paulo Coehlo, Brida

12. "Keep your face always towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." 

—Walt Whitman 

13. "Make no a complete sentence." 

—Amy Poehler, Yes Please

14. "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

—Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

15. "We seem to be riding on the top of the highest mast of the tallest ship; and yet at the same time we know that nothing of this sort matters; love is not proved thus, nor great achievements completed thus; so that we sport with the moment and preen our feathers in it lightly." 

—Virginia Woolf, Street Haunting



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